Saturday, August 31, 2013

BBQ Chicken

For the last holiday outdoor BBQ of summer, the Grinch of the Grill serves up a Labor Day BBQ Chicken recipe. Almost everyone has their own recipe but I take it a step further with a dry rub for extra flavor. Read on for my grilling tips, 99 Cent Chef style.

My dry rub uses easy-to-get small bottles of spices. You can use any of these you have on hand. The dry rub doesn't have to have every ingredient I list -- it will still be flavorful. And you can use a favorite BBQ sauce, either store bought or homemade.

What I like to do is grill the dry rub coated chicken pieces until almost done. If you have a favorite BBQ sauce add it during the last couple of minutes. Don't slather it on until the end because most sauces have a lot of sugar -- so the chicken can burn too much.

I bought a whole chicken at my local Latin market for 77 cents a pound. It takes just a few minutes to break it down into wings, leg quarters and a whole breast. I even cut out the back and grilled that up. Of course you can use any favorite cheap cuts of packaged poultry.

Dark meat leg quarters takes longer to grill than white meat breast, so I like to leave the breast whole, that way it's ready about the same time. The wings and back cook quicker, so you will need to check on them earlier. (If you use spit breast halves, then check on them earlier as well.) All the chicken is ready when there are no red juices when pierced and no red meat showing -- just make a small cut to the bone as well, to check for doneness.)

I use a gas grill so it's easier to control the cooking time, but if you have a typical charcoal grill you should let it cook over a hot heat at the beginning, but move the chicken pieces towards the edges when you add BBQ sauce, so it doesn't burn too quickly. You may need to move the chicken pieces to the edge when the skin sides are cooking, too - they tend to flare up the coals from all the dripping fat.

And I have a couple of classic BBQ sides for you, just click on the following names of Coleslaw and Potato Salad to see my recipes.

So for your final holiday BBQ, just follow a few of my cheap$kate tips for a delicious backyard BBQ Chicken feast.

Ingredients (2 to 4 servings, depending on size of bird)
  • 1 whole chicken - cut up into leg quarters, breast, wings, and back. You can use leg quarters only or any favorite poultry cuts (with or without skin.)
  • Favorite BBQ sauce

Dry Rub Ingredients (use any combination, don't worry if you have it all. Spices are ground and dry.)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon chile powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder (or flakes)
  • 1 teaspoon salt - or garlic salt. (Then leave out garlic power.)
  • 1 teaspoon pepper


Get the grill going if you use charcoal.

Add dry rub spices in a bowl and mix well.

Coat chicken pieces on all sides with the dry rub mix. (You can leave on or take off the skin.) 

Fire up the gas grill (or wait until your coals burn white.) I like to start grilling with the skin side up so the fat and juices coat and moisten the grill. Depending on the grill heat, it should take 3-5 minutes for each side to cook through.

You will need to go by sight, so check the chicken pieces and cook until they are medium charred. Flip them over onto the skin side.

Cook the skin side for a about 3-5 minutes more (again check for medium char, as fire temperature will vary.)

Now time to finish up. Add BBQ sauce to charred side. Carefully turn over (skin may stick so loosen slowly, grabbing skin to pull it free) and add bbq sauce. You only need to cook another minute or so, on each side, to caramelize some of the bbq sauce.

Check for doneness with a small cut to the bone -- no blood or redness should be there. Or if you have a thermometer the internal temp is 165 degrees.

And serve with my cheap$kate coleslaw or potato salad.

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